In Afghanistan, 21 million people (out of 30 million) do not have access to the national grid and even more in urban areas experience load-shedding or regular blackouts of over six hours a day.
Lighting Pakistan/Afghanistan, a program of IFC, aims at helping address the lighting needs of Pakistani consumers by helping them gain access to low-cost, high-quality, safe, reliable, and cleaner lighting products. In addition, Lighting Afghanistan aims to enable 300,000 Afghanis to have access to modern energy services for lighting and associated services.
In order to help build a sustainable market for high-quality off-grid lighting solutions in the long term, Lighting Afghanistan is working on multiple fronts:
We arrange for product testing and quality verification for our manufacturing associates who are interested in joining the program. This quality assurance makes it easier for distributors and consumers to differentiate between poor-quality and high-quality products. The QA framework and test methods have been institutionalized through, and are now based on, IEC/TS 62257-9-5, a technical specification published by the International Electrotechnical Commission. Lighting Global maintains a set of minimum quality standards, which off-grid lighting products must meet in order to access program services.
We conduct in-depth research into market fundamentals and share insights with our associates in order to support their decision-making.
We make direct connections between quality-verified manufacturing associates and distribution associates, as well as microfinance institutions. The purpose of these direct connections is to lower market entry costs for manufacturers and assist distributors in developing a viable off-grid lighting sector.
We work with our associates to launch targeted consumer awareness campaigns in order to inform potential consumers in Pakistan about the opportunities that modern off-grid lighting presents and assist them in making informed purchasing decisions.